MC6 and Chase Bliss Automatone - perfection?

I am a midiot.
I purchased an MC6 after I got my Chase Bliss Automatone MK2.
Initially, I just wanted to simply switch between presets on the Automatone - I had no experience setting up midi on a pedalboard. I have been playing for a LONG time - stuck in my ways!

However, after just 30 minutes I had set up the most incredible set of MC6 presets with multiple deeper options controlling the Automatone.

I have connected my expression pedal to the MC6 and have different settings on the Expression pedal for each preset. Sometimes controlling just volume - sometimes multiple faders.

The multi-function buttons on the MC6 are great too. I can be in a preset double-tap a button and add fuzz to my preset (or whatever).

The documentation and vids for the MC6 (and the chase bliss stuff also) are great.

The Morning Star software is a breeze to use.

I am posting this here in case someone like me is on the fence about going down this path. For me, the CB Automatone and the MC6 is a game-changer.

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Hi there,

As an Automatone owner myself I actually am on the fence about a Morningstar controller.
I do have a precise question for you though.
After a week of back and forth email with Chase Bliss support, they acknowledged what I experienced sending CC messages from my computer to my Automatone : if you send CC messages (not PC, CC) to move all 6 faders, then one of them actually will get in a “sticky” state were you can non longer move it unless you change preset. That is weird but that sounds like a major problem which may hurt that said fader’s motor on the long run and also it prevents you changing that fader setting manually if that is what you want.
The only way not to experience this is to introduce some kind of pause between each CC message which I noticed by myself and they agreed on. In my tests from my computer, 0.5 seconds pauses were needed.
So my question is : is you are using your Morningstar to send CC messages to all 6 faders, do you get a “sticky” fader as a result ?

Can any Morningstar user or team member tell me if the controllers send CC messages as fast as MIDI allows or do they allow for so kind of adjustable flow/speed control ?

Your answer would be extremely appreciated. Thank you !

Hi

I’ll check that today and come back to you

Cheers Jules

Yes, we have faced that problem with our Automatone as well and have brought it up to the Chase Bliss team about 1-2 months back.

MIDI messages gets sent almost immediately and there is no adjustable speed control of sorts. Any such speed control will just seem like a latency issue when you use the controller.

Hi,

I gave this a try and sent CC messages to all 6 faders and can confirm that one of them gets ‘sticky’ as you described.

A very usable way around this (using the morning star) is to simply click the footswitch twice and this releases the the ‘sticky’ fader with the second press of the footswitch.

Cheers

Jules

Wow, thanks for your quick answers. Really appreciated !

It took CBA’s MIDI guy a week of back and forth emails with video demonstration and all to acknowledge the problem and I had to push him quite a bit for him to finally escalate the issue and ask Joel Korte once and for all.

What you confirm is terrible news, that means CBA has been aware of this problem for weeks now but still sells the Preamp Mk II as MIDI controllable through CC messages which it is not, not without problem at least. I haven’t seen any communication about it anywhere.
I do feel like I opened a can of worms that was well hidden there. I am so disappointed by the brand I had really high opinion on. I asked for Joel to get back to me to share his view on this, we’ll see if he really stand by his products. I have the feeling he does, I sure hope so. I have been a CBA fan for years, spend quite a lot on their gear but this !
I have been treated like an idiot all week by their support guy so I feel quite upset now.
I do love the sounds of the Preamp Mk II but that is a huge concern to me and probably many users as it would affect the lifetime of the motorized faders in the long run, no doubt.

@jules6120 : what do you mean by pressing the footswitch twice ? You mean the Morningstar switch ? If so doesn’t it change the state of some setting on the Preamp doing so ? What does it send on the second press ? That may be my way of dealing with this so I am really interested. Thank you !

Yes, so on the Morningstar, I set a footswitch button to send the ‘6 fader’ CC messages as you wanted

Morningstar - Click once and we change all the faders - and one is sticky.
Morningstar - If I click the same footswitch button again a second later it ‘unsticks’ the stuck fader.

@jules6120 thank you again for testing it out :+1:

You pointed me right to the solution to make it work ! Sending the CC messages twice does the trick but this is still unacceptable as CBA doesn’t say a word about this. I suppose quite a few Automatone users using a midi controller are actually wearing their faders out without even knowing.

@james is there a way to do this double CC messages send in one footswitch press ? I really fell like I am doing CBA debugging here but I really love that pedal and want to make it work for me with a controller. I just tried sending twice the CC messages “phrase” in a row, without a pause and that works nicely from my computer interface using a CLI MIDI sender.

Thanks again to you all.

I don’t own an automatone myself, but you could try putting a Delay command message in between 2 identical CC message commands (maybe 1 second delay) and it’ll probably work fine.

Does Morningstar allow for the delay commands ?

it’s one of the message types you can assign to an footswitch action. it’s in the menu under the Device category. You can set a delay from 100-1000 ms.

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Thank you all, and sorry for hijacking this thread, that was closely related though :slight_smile:
I ordered a MC8, let the fun begin !

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Hey, no problems - great you got the MC8!

OK so I received my MC8 already ! Yeah !

I have been playing with it for half an hour now and introducing delays of 100ms between each fader movement cc message makes them not “sticky” so that is a big win as on my computer version of this without the MC8, I had to make the delay 500ms and that made switch presets really slow.

I do have to clarify some things regarding CBA. I had a conversation (emails) with Joel there, he was transparent and explained me that this is a microprocessor buffer on the Preamp MkII that is just not able to cope with the MIDI data flow and that explains why letting it some time between each CC message is the key. He also assured me that those “sticky” faders are not harmed by this at all.
As I expected he sticks by his products all the way. Great guy. The problems I had with his MIDI support guy was probably miscommunication, in these tough times we all go through, communication can be hard. I take my part of the fault too. Nobody’s perfect anyway.

@James Talking about that, I am sorry to say I already have found a little quirk in the desktop editor (macOs), when you copy and paste delay messages, the delay duration is not pasted (or copied in the first place) and so the pasted line has a duration of 0 ms if you paste to an empty line for example. As I will have to use this extensively with my Preamp MkII, may I ask you to put this on the list for a future revision ? Thank you !

I decidedly have an ability for finding obscure hidden problems in anything I touch… That is a more of a burden than a chance though…

Thanks for the update. Which editor version are you using? I’m trying that same functionality (copy and pasting delay messages) on the the 1.0.11 desktop editor and it works fine.

1.0.11 (macOs version and updated my MC8 to latest 3.7.1 firmware).

I just checked again and there really is a little glitch here. Try for example to create a Msg 1 on press with a delay command of 100ms
then copy and paste to msg 2 and the delay command is pasted but not the delay time which still is set to 0.
Nothing too bad here but I was wondering why my faders were still sticking and that was the reason as there actually was no delay except for the one delay command I was copying from.

I’m not able to replicate it though. If convenient, can you send a video through so I can take a look? Thanks!

Here you go : http://drops.rolland.bzh/jPIwqp/bPuK4q1wFE